I was born into a staunch Republican family. My mother signed me up for Teenage Republicans, and my folks also gave financial support to the Republican Party. My mother took great pride in being photographed with President Gerald Ford. As typical for many mothers and daughters, our few differences evolved into sweeping ones. Basically, we disagreed on just about everything. I am sure she thought I was possessed by aliens.
But one thing we never argued about was that women were being held back. We were both supporters of Roe v. Wade. I was a sophomore in high school, and with its passing, we celebrated what we perceived as a long-earned victory. She is probably turning in her grave right now. This would have been impossible if her Republican Party still existed.
But it doesn’t. The GOPE exists. Grand Old Party Extreme. This party does not believe in the separation of church and state. This party doesn’t believe that women should be in charge of their own bodies. Nor should we receive equal pay for equal work. This party also doesn’t believe in clean air, clean water, and now the Supreme Court underlines that by voting against the EPA. This doesn’t just affect the USA; it affects the world.
Right now, Europe is experiencing a “heat apocalypse.” The United Kingdom, today, is enduring its hottest day in their record keeping history, 104F/40C. All-time record heat, wildfires are burning in France and Spain, while northern Italy is suffering one of its worst droughts in decades. Over a thousand people have died from excessive heat in Portugal and Spain. Globally, people are dying from the heat. Extreme for Minnesota, it is experiencing triple digit temperatures. The famed giant sequoias, which have been standing for millennia in Yosemite National Park, were threatened by wildfire as we undergo yet another firestorm in our western states. And 35 million Americans have been under excessive heat warnings. A 2021 National Geographic study found that more than a third of all heat deaths worldwide can be pinned on climate change. Scientists have been predicting this for a long while, but it remains an “inconvenient truth,” even labeled a left-wing conspiracy theory by many on the far right. The new norm is, the powers that be simply turn the page, adopting the “it’s someone else’s problem” attitude.
Our Supreme Court which is supposed to uphold the law of the land, to remain objective, to uphold the Constitution, has become unbalanced and political. The United States is no long united; it’s divided, vociferously so, and we are hurtling towards a catastrophe.
I have long been a proponent of a law that requires every citizen to vote. We should not have the Electoral College. The popular vote would win. Period. Isn’t that the very definition of a democracy, the voice of the majority prevails? But today the will of the people is being thwarted by gerrymandering. Time should be spent on governing instead of weaseling votes. Right now, our two-party system isn’t functioning. And the developing trend we’ve seen in recent primaries is the losing candidate proclaims the election was rigged. This sophomoric attitude would be laughable were it not such a direct threat to democracy. Our high school students running for class president show more maturity.
Our courts are clogged at every level, and the “supreme” court has become the “inferior” court and no longer follows its mandate. We think of ourselves as a country of law and order, where individual rights are protected, but for most of us, we can simply say, “That was in the good old days.”
We now debate if the police are really policing? What happened to protect and serve? Call 911 and wait on hold. Call 911 and watch the police in Uvalde wait and do nothing. Call 911, are they going to protect the peaceful protestors or will they be killed by insurrectionists?
I also believe that anyone running for state or national office needs to be able to pass a high school civics level litmus test. We need smart people in office who understand what governing is. I speak for no party, no religion, no corporation. I am simply speaking to people directly, not only to those who see things as I do. With open minds, can we not look objectively at this perilous path we’re following and together resolve to create a realistic approach toward protecting our country and our world and its inhabitants? What is needed is clear-headed leadership, leaders who listen and are not labeled as weak if compromise that mirrors the will of the majority is reached.
Or we may lose our nation to chaos.
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